Father Douglas Macmillan (St Mirin's Cathedral, Paisley):
Presiding Officer and members of the Scottish Parliament, I thank you for this opportunity to lead your time for reflection. I would like to read part of psalm 95 from the sacred scriptures, because it gives a Christian perspective of God's creation and the praise that is his due:
"Come ring out our joy to the Lord;
hail the God who saves us.
Let us come before him giving thanks,
with songs let us hail the Lord.
A mighty God is the Lord,
a great king above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth;
the heights of the mountains are his.
To him belongs the sea for he made it,
and the dry land shaped by his hands.
Come in; let us bow and bend low;
Let us kneel before the God who made us
For he is our God and we
the people who belong to his pasture,
the flock that is led by his hand."
God has given the world to the human race to be used for the good of all. God always wanted us to be happy in the world, and we are stewards given the world to use—not to abuse—for our own good and for the good of all people. Human beings are the high point of God's material creation and they should be neither used nor abused for the gain of others. We remember that we are members of his flock and are therefore precious to him.
All of you who are the elected representatives of our nation have taken on a great responsibility. Your duties are onerous as you decide the use of resources and make decisions that affect Scotland and its people, and which also have implications and effects beyond our borders. I realise that our country has people of many different cultures and faiths, and people who have no religious faith whatsoever, and that not everyone will share my point of view. Whatever our persuasion may be, when we are placed in a position of trust, we are required to stand up for what is right. We look after
I ask God to bless all of you in your work. May he give you the strength and health to lead Scotland well, and may your work ensure that our country is a land that is known for being a just, safe and good place to live.